Prepare to hit the road on your next adventure with these travel hints.
Cruising on the open road with the wind in your hair and the company of your family or friends—what’s a better tradition than a summer road trip? If you’re traveling with hearing loss, there are a few extra things to consider after you sketch out your route and pick out all the sights you want to see. Use our road trip tips with hearing loss for a fun and safe experience!
- Set up a road-friendly care routine for assistive listening devices
- Mind the music volume
- Reduce background noise when needed
- Let companions know your communication preferences
- Know your route
- Consider Bluetooth GPS or an FM transmitter
- Play hearing-loss-friendly road trip games
- Look for hearing assistance signs at the venues you visit
Learn more about these travel tips for hearing loss below.
Set up a road-friendly care routine for assistive listening devices
When traveling with hearing aids or other types of assistive listening devices, setting up a cleaning and care routine for them while on the road can help ensure they function at peak performance. Be sure to pack essentials like a cleaning kit, extra batteries or charging cables, and protective storage case. On your nightly stops along the route, take care to store them as directed in a cool, dry place, so they’re ready for the next travel day.
Mind the music volume
This travel tip for hearing loss is to be mindful of how loud you’re listening to music or audiobooks in the car. Maintaining a comfortable volume isn’t only a smart choice for people with hearing loss—but it can also help protect everyone’s hearing. To ensure you’re listening at a safe volume, install a smartphone app like Decibel X (on iOS) or Sound Meter (on Google Play) to track and measure sound levels.
Reduce background noise when needed
Beyond music and other audio, there are additional sounds on a road trip that can be uncomfortable or make it difficult to hear. Open windows, for instance, can invite a gush of loud wind and traffic noises into your vehicle. But if you like feeling the fresh air as you travel, you could open the windows when riding at low speeds for a quieter experience and close them at high speeds. When they’re open, you could also turn off your hearing device on that side to minimize any sound distraction.
Let companions know your communication preferences
As you ride together, you’ll likely want to have conversations with your road trip companions. This road trip tip with hearing loss can help make connecting with them easier. Before setting out on your adventure, chat with your travel partners about your communication preferences. Perhaps you need them to speak slowly, mute the radio, or – if they’re not driving – use a whiteboard to write down what they say. Having a plan before you set out can make for a more enjoyable trip.
Know your route
If you’re taking a turn as the driver, you might be worried about not catching spoken GPS directions. It can help to review the route beforehand (or during stops), so you have a general idea of the turns you’ll need to make and when. You can also appoint a copilot to tap you on the shoulder to confirm that a turn is coming up or set the GPS to give an alert about accidents, quicker routes, hazards, or other critical travel information.
Consider Bluetooth GPS or an FM transmitter
You may also consider using hearing loss-friendly travel technology to make hearing in the car easier. For instance, your hearing device may be able to pair with Bluetooth GPS so the turn-by-turn directions can go right to your devices. You can also use an FM transmitter system where the mic will pick up what everyone says and send it directly to your hearing aids or headphones.
Play hearing-loss-friendly road trip games
Our last road trip tip with hearing loss is all about having fun! As you drive along, consider modifying some of the classic road trip games like “I Spy” and “20 Questions” to suit your preferences. For example, the clues in these games can be spoken and written (especially if you bring a whiteboard). You could also opt for more visual games like printed bingo sheets full of familiar roadside sights so you can see who spots them first (this may be especially fun when you have little ones in tow). Check out these other road trip game ideas and pick the ones that sound fun to you.
Look for hearing assistance signs at the venues you visit
If your summer road trip includes stops at places like museums and theaters, keep your eye out for signage indicating that hearing assistive technology is available there. It might look something like the image featured here or it may have other icons or messaging. If you don’t see a sign, you can visit the registration or information desk to inquire whether the facility is equipped with an assistive listening system. Learn more about the different types of assistive listening devices you may find find in public places here.
Using these road trip tips with hearing loss, you’re ready to start making new travel memories! For more articles on traveling with hearing loss, head to our blog.